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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 14:01 PM

Trends to Watch - December

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And down the stretch they come.
 
With December upon us, the 2018 NFL season heads in to the final quarter of the season and with it our final take on monthly teams trends, compliments of our database.
 
Please note that all trends are ATS (Against The Spread) unless noted otherwise. 

Enjoy the holidays… and the team trends.
 
HOME TEAMS
 
Keep an eye on (Good): Carolina 30-19 ATS, Cincinnati 40-24 ATS, Green Bay 36-20 ATS,  New England 34-20 ATS, Seattle 38-20 ATS
 
Carolina has back-to-back division games with a chance to improve their home record, but they are just six days apart. New Orleans is in Charlotte on Monday (12/17) and the following Sunday it will be Atlanta.
 
With how Cincinnati is sinking and the loss of QB Andy Dalton, not sure they can cover against Denver (12/2), but they should have a better chance with Oakland in the Queen City two weeks later.
 
After playing four of five on the road, the Packers are home three times this month against Arizona (12/2), Atlanta (12/9) and Detroit (12/30) and should improve their record.  
 
New England moved up to the No. 2 seed in the AFC to start the month and will face Minnesota (12/2), Buffalo (12/23) and the New York Jets (12/30). Only the Vikings contest seems an uncertainty. 
 
With seven road games out of the way, Seattle is home four times this month! The toughest should be Minnesota (12/10) and Kansas City (12/23), with the most winnable San Francisco (12/2) and Arizona (12/30).
 
Keep an eye on (Bad): Cleveland 14-25 ATS
 
The improving Browns could decide Carolina's playoff fate (12/9) and they will go for the sweep of the Bengals (12/23) at their joint. Can they overcome history?
 
AWAY TEAMS
 
Bad: Chicago 18-36 ATS
 
There is a very good chance Chicago can start chipping away at this awful December away record and begin heading in a positive direction. That seems especially likely against the Giants in Jersey (12/2) and at the 49ers in Santa Clara (12/23), with the season finale at the Vikings to be determined for importance later.
 
Keep an eye on (Bad): 
Dallas 25- 38 ATS, Houston 15-24 ATS, Oakland 21-37 ATS,  Tampa Bay 22-34 ATS

If Dallas is going to claim the NFC East, they will have to play well on the road at Indianapolis (12/16) and at the Giants (12/30).
 
If Houston is to win the AFC South, they will have to keep winning at home and at the Jets on a Saturday (12/15) and the next Sunday at Philadelphia (12/23), which could be a big game for both clubs.
 
This Raiders team is like many before them, they stink. Possibly they could cover at the Bengals (12/16) and they only way they beat the spread at Kansas City (12/30) is if the Chiefs do not play Patrick Mahomes and other starters.
 
Who will be the starting QB when Tampa Bay visits Baltimore (12/16) and Dallas (12/23) and will coach Dirk Koetter still be employed?  
 
FAVORITES

Good: Green Bay 54-27 ATS
 
This Packers squad is not nearly as good as prior December models, but they will be favored four times; in all three home games as mentioned and at the Flyboys in Jersey on the 23rd. Can they match the past?
 
Bad: Miami 23-48 ATS
 
The Dolphins have a long history of being a rotten home favorite. In December, they ramp it up a couple notches and leave nothing but coal and losing betting tickets in backers stockings. Miami might only have two chances to make the situation worse, first, against Buffalo (12/2) and likely versus Jacksonville (12/22).
 
Keep an eye on (Bad): 
Cleveland 6-10 ATS, Houston 9-14 ATS 
 
The Browns are improving, but we cannot go overboard. Cleveland will have a chance to not be on this list next year when they meet Cincinnati on the 23rd at home.
 
With home contests against Cleveland (12/2), Indy (12/9) and the Jaguars (12/30), the Texans could be another team leaving this list, with the possible clincher at Gang Green (12/15).
 
UNDERDOGS
 
Keep an eye on (Good): 
Minnesota  34-22 ATS, New England 21-12 ATS,  Pittsburgh 18-12 ATS, Seattle 42-22 ATS
 
The Vikings are a dog to open the month in New England (12/2) and could catching points the next Monday on the other coast at Coffee Town (12/10).
 
The Patriots almost assuredly will be on the receiving end of points at Pittsburgh (12/16).
 
Like New England, the Steelers will be underdogs a single time, just once at New Orleans (12/23) and that will be tough coming off Pats battle.
 
With Seattle, we will have wait and see what the oddsmakers think about their home games with the Vikings (12/10) and K.C. (12/23). If the Seahawks are catching digits, the odds are on their side.
 
Keep an eye on (Bad): 
Chicago 24-42 ATS, L.A. Rams 22-43 ATS, Oakland 24- 46 ATS
 
The Bears could be short home dogs to the Rams in the second Sunday of the month and most likely at Minnesota to close the regular season out.
 
As just said, either Chicago or the Rams will be the underdog. If L.A. North is favored, you can take them off this roll call, being favored in the rest of their contests.
 
Hard to imagine the Raiders will not be an underdog the rest of the season. The one possible exception is at home versus Denver on Christmas Eve.
 
DIVISION
 
Keep an eye on (Good):  Arizona 31-20 ATS, Carolina 28-17 ATS,  New England 34-19 ATS, Seattle 31-20 ATS
 
More often than not the Cardinals cover this time of year because of the number of points they are receiving. That will be the case versus the Rams (12/23) and @ Seahawks (12/30)
 
Carolina playoff life is on the line starting at the Bucs (12/2), home vs. the Falcons (12/23) and they have a home and home with the Saints in Weeks 15 and 17.
 
Given the difference in skill, like it has been for years, New England covers against their three division foes if they choose to.
 
Seattle plays San Fran on the first and third Sunday's of the month and wraps up the home slate and regular season vs. Arizona. The results should be positive.
 
Keep an eye on (Bad):  Cleveland 11-20 ATS, L.A. Rams 22-33 ATS,  Miami 21-38 ATS, Oakland 22-36 ATS
 
The Browns should get no worse than a split facing the Bengals (12/23) and @Baltimore (12/30).
 
If the Rams defense does anything, they handle the Redbirds in Glendale and Frisco to end the season.
 
The Dolphins will have three chances to make their record worse: the first and last Sunday of the month, home and away against the Bills, and on the 9th when Tom Brady invades South Florida.
 
Maybe the Raiders could pass the Fins for futility playing K.C. twice and vs. the Broncos (12/24).
 

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